The Central Museum in Jaipur is located inside the Albert Hall. The Central Museum came up under the guidance of Brigade Surgeon Colonel Thomas Holbein Hendley, CIE (21 April 1847 – 2 February 1917), who was a British medical officer in the Indian Medical Service. Colonel Hendley was the Residency Surgeon of Jaipur from 1873 to 1897. Apart from his medical duties, he took great interest in Indian art and helped in establishing the Central Museum.
The museum started in temporary rooms in Jaipur in August 1881. It was transferred to the Albert Hall in September 1886 and was formally opened in February 1887. The museum was initially divided into four sections, industrial art, historical, education and economic. The museum became popular very fast and by 1898, three million people had visited the museum since its opening eleven years ago. A plaque at the museum says,
… Albert Hall became a centre for imparting knowledge of history of civilizations, inspiring artisans to improve their skills, preserving and developing traditional Indian arts, crafts and architectural forms and not least as Hendley said to amuse and instruct the common people.
Over the years, the classification has been refined and sections like, Arms and Armour, Sculpture Gallery, International Art, Pottery Collection and Musical Instruments are prominent in the museum. There are numerous exhibits in the museum, each a unique piece of art and deserving a place of its own. One can go round the museum for hours and appreciate the amazing pieces of these extraordinary art and craftsmanship. A small random sample of the exhibits is shown in the photographs below.